Reg Grundy

2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award

Wednesday 17 November – Top 5 Finalists Announced

AACTA had the pleasure of notifying our shortlisted applicants of their progression in to Round 2.

In the second round, we’ll be asking our top 10 entrants to send us a video of them pitching their idea (up to 3 minutes in length), a pitch deck - which is a presentation of up to 4 pages/slides in length that expands upon the idea and provides more detail and reference, and a one minute video describing themselves. See the video below for advice from Australia’s leading television entertainment professionals on creating a pitch deck.



The AACTA Reg Grundy Award is back for 2021, with more opportunities to win big!

Love the action and excitement of Ninja Warrior? Think you can create something more iconic than The Voice or Family Feud? Or more addictive than The Chase? The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today announced the return of the AACTA Reg Grundy Award. This year will be even bigger than last year, with a focus on all things competition– gameshows, competition reality and quizzes. The 2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award is open to any Australian with a new idea for a television competition program, and with $50K on offer, its the largest prize of its kind in the world!

In addition to last year’s prize of $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in development funding, this year AACTA will offer an additional prize of $10,000 to the best idea from someone under 25.

This year’s winner will be determined by a panel of established screen experts including Eden Gaha (President of unscripted television at Shine USA), Cathy Payne (CEO of Banijay Rights), Sharon Wheeler (Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive), and Marion Farrelly (Speaker, consultant, TV & Film Producer), and Ian Hogg (Media CEO, Advisor, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent, Family Feud).

“A great idea can come from anywhere. It’s our job, as an industry, to make sure such great ideas are heard and their creators are supported. The Reg Grundy Award represents the kind of encouragement and mentorship that has made Australian content what it is today. Now more than ever, this award underpins the importance of new perspectives on entertainment from people of all backgrounds. I see this year’s additional prize for innovative, young, creators as a tremendous way to seed the next great competition format.” Said AACTA Reg Grundy Award Judge and President of Unscripted Television at Shine USA, Eden Gaha.

Competition format entertainment has been well-established in Australian television with a wide variety of audience favourites that include The Block, The Chase, MasterChef, Hard Quiz, The Voice, MAFS, Family Feud, Millionaire Hot Seat, Lego Masters, The Bachelor, Ninja Warrior, et al. Competition and quiz shows have a long history and have been loved by Australian audiences since pioneer Reg Grundy beamed them in to lounge rooms around the country and created engaging, inclusive entertainment for all. With manyAustralian made shows going on to be adapted internationally, the AACTA Reg Grundy Award is opening the doors to find Australia’s next big competition format show from the general public.

There isn’t a current Australian producer who hasn’t been inspired by Reg Grundy’s prolific legacy. In partnership with Reg Grundy’s wife, Chairman of RG Capital, author and businesswoman Mrs Joy Chambers Grundy, the Award is designed to keep Reg’s heritage of hard work and entrepreneurial spirit alive whilst finding a home to foster the next generation’s brilliant and creative ideas.

Reg Grundy was peerless in the adaptation of entertainment formats for local audiences in Australia and across the world. Often Reg’s format adaptations became more popular than the originals and were sold around the world with added Grundy magic, including Sale of the Century and Blankety Blanks. His towering success in creating and adapting entertainment formats spans decades, and includes Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Perfect Match and dramas including Sons & Daughters, Prisoner and Neighbours, which has become the longest-running drama series in Australian television and a launching pad for many careers.

The AACTA Reg Grundy Award aims to grow our output in unscripted entertainment and help fund compelling, original unscripted Australian formats. It is open to Australians from all walks of life and across all experience levels who can demonstrate they have an idea that is original, viable and has the all-important entertainment factor. Simply get your idea down on one page and enter it. The Award is an important pillar in AACTA's Development strategy, which is committed to supporting new voices in screen entertainment and fast tracking new and original productions.

Think you have Australia’s next big competition on your hands? Get your entry in by11.59pm AEST Monday 11 October 2021.





Eden Gaha is an Australian television producer, based in Los Angeles. Eden previously served as President, Unscripted Television, at Endemol Shine North America, where he executive produced many of the company's top unscripted series, including MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Restaurant Startup (CNBC), Hunted (CBS) and Billion Dollar Buyer (CNBC). Before that, he worked at Mark Burnett Productions, serving variously as the showrunner/executive producer/supervising producer on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice (five seasons), The Contender, Pirate Master, Rock Star, and the long-running CBS series Survivor, for which he was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. 

Eden has been named one of the most influential unscripted Hollywood executives in Variety’s Reality Impact special report and was ranked #5 in The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Reality Player’s list in 2014




Cathy Payne serves as Chief Executive of Banijay Rights, setting and executing the business’ global distribution strategy for Banijay’s burgeoning catalogue of 110,000+ hours, which includes landmark brands, Survivor, Big Brother, MasterChef, Temptation Island, Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror, and many more.

Previously, she was Chief Executive of Endemol Shine International, where she directed all worldwide distribution efforts, as well as working closely with the commercial team on IP exploitation.

Prior to this, Payne was Chief Executive at Southern Star International, which was acquired by Endemol in 2009.




Marion ‘Maz’ Farrelly, The CEO Whisperer, Speaker, Consultant, TV and Film Producer and Creative Strategist. If you’ve watched it, Maz probably made it and won an international award for it – the biggest brands in the world with the biggest teams, budgets and stars. She’s produced shows in London, LA and Australia – shows like BIG BROTHER, DANCING WITH THE STARS, THE X FACTOR, THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, and she co-created Q&A for the ABC. Maz has spent decades at the pointy end of the media and is a regular guest on podcasts and TV shows which are then picked up by the international press. Maz started her career as a magazine journalist and stylist in London, has been executive editor of Format Entertainment at the BBC UK London, Director of Television Content, Fremantle Media Australia & Creative Strategist for BBCWorld-Wide. Maz now runs Maz Speaks, a company which does one thing – makes sure you get attention for all the right reasons. Maz believes all business is show business, and to cut through in this listening-deficient society, you have to nail your first minute – nail that and you’re in business – literally.




Ian Hogg is an awarded Media Industry Leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist with a Global Career spanning four continents across 25 years. Most recently, he led Fremantle as the Regional CEO for Australia and Asia Pacific and sat on the Global Operating Board. He is a passionate believer in idea generation and execution, storytelling, creatives, creativity, disruption and the power of media to deliver a narrative that can make a real difference in an industry that cannot, and will never, stand still.




Sharon Wheeler is an Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive, who has created more than 30 original series and Executive Produced over 2,000 hours of unscripted programming. Her shows have been licensed and produced in dozens of territories. As founder and President of Wheeler/Sussman Productions based in Los Angeles, her hit original formats include: MTV’s SINGLED OUT, Fox’s EXTREME-DATING, THE LAST RESORT, TRIVIAL PURSUIT: AMERICA PLAYS, JUDGE ALEX and REUNION TOUR.

As part of Reg Grundy’s U.S. production operations, she helped develop and adapt Grundy International Series for American audiences, including PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H, IT’S A KNOCKOUT, SCRABBLE, MANN O’ MANN and QUESTIONS POUR UN CHAMPION.



Monday 20 September – Entries open! Round one starts.
Let us know your show’s title, a logline (1 – 2 sentence description), and include a synopsis that’s up to 1 page long.

See this video for some advice from Australia’s leading television entertainment professionals!

Monday 11 October – Round 1 entries close

Friday 15 October – Top 10 first round finalists announced  Round 2 starts

In the second round, we’ll be asking our top 10 entrants to send us a video of them pitching their idea (up to 3 minutes in length), a pitch deck - which is a presentation of up to 4 pages/slides in length that expands upon the idea and provides more detail and reference, and a one minute video describing themselves. See the video below for advice from Australia’s leading television entertainment professionals on creating a pitch deck.

Friday 5 November – Round 2 ends

Wednesday 17 November – Top 5 finalists announced!

Week commencing Monday 16 November – Individual Pitch meetings
Our top 5 finalists will have a chance to pitch their idea directly to each of our judges privately and receive constructive feedback and advice. See the video below for advice on how to pitch!

Early December – The 2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award Final will be held
Our top 5 finalists will have another chance to pitch – this time to the entire judging panel – and the person who has pitched the best idea will walk away with the $50,000 prize and a chance to see their idea become a reality.

AACTA Awards ScreenFest (date to be announced) 
AACTA Reg Grundy Award recipient is announced to the world!


  • Entry Fee $25 for AACTA Members $50 for non-members
  • Entries & Materials Deadline Monday 11 October 11.59pm AEDT
  • Rules & Supporting Documents Terms & Conditions
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